The lockdown restrictions in Karnataka have been extended by a week until June 14, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced on June 3. The extended lockdown will continue and no new relaxations have been announced. The decision was taken following a meeting of experts, ministers and top government officials.
The CM also announced a Rs 500 crore relief package for various industries including the powerloom, film industry, fisher community, temples and mosques under the Muzrai Department. Television serials will not be allowed to shoot during the extension as well, Yediyurappa said. “If the positivity rate falls below 5% we will take a decision immediately to lift the lockdown,” the CM Yediyurappa said.
The Chief Minister announced that ASHA workers, fisherpersons, powerloom workers will receive financial aid of Rs 3000 while anganwadi workers will receive Rs 2000.
In the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lockdown was first announced in Karnataka from April 27. At the time, the state was reporting a surge in COVID-19 infections with daily case figures over 31,000, climbing to an all-time high of 50,112 on May 5.
The lockdown was extended twice in May. The expert panel advising the Karnataka government recommended extending the lockdown once more until the test positivity rate in the state fell below 5% and the number of daily cases fell below 5,000. Karnataka recorded 16,387 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, June 2 with 4,095 cases in Bengaluru. The test positivity rate on the day was 11.5% with 1.45 lakh tests conducted.
The Chief Minister had on Wednesday announced that from June 3 onwards export-oriented businesses can resume operations. However, Yediyurappa hinted that the lockdown restrictions would be extended in the state. The CM had said that the situation is not completely under control, and the caseload is still high in rural areas. “We will take a decision considering how to balance things and go ahead," he added.
Speaking with reporters on June 2, Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar had also said that the current situation has improved when the state can esume industrial operations in a staggered phase. “We had reached the peak of the COVID-19 second wave in May and had taken strict measures. To bring the second wave under control, the government had to resort to stringent measures and impose a lockdown. However, we have now reached a stage and can resume industries operations in a staggered phase. Now is the time to move forward and re-open the economy,” Kumar said.
(With agency inputs)